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School Zone Traffic Tickets When School is Closed

Posted on May 19, 2014 in Criminal Defense

School zones throughout New Orleans require drivers to slow down when students are in school.  Flashing signs indicate when drivers must obey the lower speed limit. A driver who fails to slow down can be cited for speeding and will pay a fine of $75 or more depending upon how fast the driver was going at the time of the incident.  The speeding ticket can also result in points on a driver’s license. 

The purpose of school zones is to make sure kids are safe, which is why drivers only need to slow their speed if class is in session. Recently, however, WWLTV reported on the story of one man who was issued a citation for exceeding the slower school zone limit even though school was not in session at the time of his ticket.  The incident is an important example of how sometimes bureaucracy can result in drivers getting tickets when they shouldn’t, which can cost them.  

Drivers who receive a traffic ticket should not just assume that they have to pay every time but instead may wish to consult with a New Orleans traffic tickets lawyer for assistance in fighting the ticket. 

School Zone Ticket Issued When Schools were Closed

According to the WWLTV story, a driver was issued a ticket from a traffic camera in Orleans Parish.  The ticket was issued in a school zone as the driver was traveling to a friend’s home to help him with supplies.  The incident occurred during the two day period, January 29 and January 30, when the roads were icy and slippery, when freezing rain was coming down and when the schools were closed. 

The driver reports that he was traveling 29 miles per hour, which was seven miles below the normal 35 mile per hour speed limit.  He said he was traveling slower than required because of the icy wet roads.  Despite his slow speed, the traffic camera flashed on Canal Boulevard before Harrison Avenue in Orleans Parish. 

The camera flashed because the school zone signs were flashing at the time, indicating that drivers had to slow down.  However, the driver knew schools had been closed because of the weather and he assumed that the normal speed limits would apply. This is a natural assumption and one that the driver could have explained if a law enforcement officer had pulled him over.  Unfortunately, the automatic nature of both the school zone signals and the traffic cameras meant that the driver never got a chance to explain his behavior, and meant that a driver would get a speeding ticket even when common sense would dictate that he wasn’t breaking the speed limit laws. 

The city insisted that it did not issue school zone tickets on the 29th and the 30th when the schools were closed, and yet the driver provided WWLTV with a copy of his citation so it is clear that the city, in fact, did issue tickets. While the driver was vocal about what happened to him and thus avoided paying the bill, many other motorists might have just given in and sent the money without considering whether the ticket was justified. 

When you pay a speeding ticket or other traffic ticket, your payment is an admission of guilt. Don’t admit guilt and assume you have to pay, when a New Orleans traffic tickets lawyer may be able to help you to defend yourself and avoid the fine and points on your license. Call Bloom Legal for help with your traffic ticket problems.

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